Skin Cancer SurgeryPrecision, accuracy, and clinical excellence can be lifesaving when dealing with skin cancer. Dr. Garlapati trained in advanced dermatological surgery under some of the most esteemed physicians in South Florida. You can feel confident in trusting Dr. Garlapati’s surgical expertise.
About skin cancer surgery
Once a diagnosis of skin cancer has been confirmed, the next step is to choose the best treatment option. There are many different surgical techniques. The most common include:
- Mohs micrographic surgery – The tumor is removed in thin layers, and each is tested to verify the successful removal of cancerous cells. (See the Mohs page for more details.)
- Excision – Standard surgery using a scalpel
- Curettage and electrodessication – The tumor is essentially scraped off and cauterized
- Cryosurgery – Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the tumor
Each of these treatment options have varying cure rates, with Mohs micrographic surgery having the highest cure rate at 99 percent. Please discuss with your physician which option is best for you.
Types of skin cancer
Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in the United States. There are several types of skin cancers, all of which respond well to treatment when in the early stages.
- Basal cell carcinoma – The most common of all skin cancers, over four million new basal cell carcinomas are diagnosed each year in this country. It affects the basal cells at the deepest epidermal layer. The tumors are unlikely to spread to other parts of the body, but they will increase in size without early treatment.
- Squamous cell carcinoma – More than a million Americans are diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma annually. It affects cells in the upper skin layers, and can spread to other areas. Squamous cell carcinoma can be disfiguring or even potentially deadly if not treated early.
- Melanoma – Although not as common as squamous and basal cell carcinomas, melanoma is one of the deadliest skin cancers. It kills more than 10,000 people a year in the United States. In the advanced stage, it can spread quickly to the lymph node and become life-threatening.
- Merkel cell carcinoma – This is a rare, but extremely dangerous form of skin cancer. Individuals with chronically suppressed immune systems have a much higher risk of developing this cancer. It tends to spread aggressively, and it carries a high risk of recurrence after treatment.
- Actinic keratoses – These skin lesions are not actually a type of cancer, but they are commonly referred to as precancers. On average, one in ten actinic keratoses become a skin cancer. Patients often choose to have them treated as a preventive measure.
If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, or suspect you may have skin cancer, you deserve to benefit from the latest treatment options. You also deserve the kindness and compassion of a caring team of experts who will treat you like family. Call us at (219) 785-8188 and schedule your appointment.